Monday, May 10, 2021

Iden Pottery - Dennis Townsend

I love discovering vintage dishes, pottery, and I recently came across something on Etsy made by Ann Townsend in the 1970's.  Then I discovered Dennis Townsend, a British artist.  Iden Potter was set up by Dennis Townsend who became one of the more respected Rye Potters.  This is one of his pieces.  Can you see the large sheep on this jug from Etsy?

Iden Pottery is best known for its stoneware, and the quality has always been excellent. It was set up by Dennis Townsend at his home in Iden, a village near Rye, when he left the Rye Pottery in 1959. He started work at Rye Pottery in 1947, joining David Sharp as a fellow apprentice. 

By 1968 Iden's wares were stocked by Heals and Harrods. The pottery was run by Dennis and his wife, Maureen, producing until the couple retired in 2002. 

Here is an imprint from one of the Iden Pottery pieces:

Another one of his jugs, from Ebay in the UK:

It also appears that his wares were trademarked to Colonial Williamsburg.  This plate would be lovely on a bookshelf:

Another piece, a platter:

Here is a photo of a set of his wares from the 1950's that sold at auction in the UK:

Here is Mr. Townsend:

In the early 1990s Iden were involved in a commercial venture that enabled them to supply goods for export in much larger quantities than could be handled by the pottery in Rye. Dennis's son, David, established the Oxney Green company to handle the large-scale manufacture of goods in Stoke-on-Trent. Patterns were made and hand-painted in Rye and sent to Stoke where they were mass-produced and printed with an eight-colour process that was difficult to distinguish from the hand-painted originals. The largest number of Oxney Green products went to Martha's Vineyard in the USA, but there were three other importers in America and some in Japan.

Iden pots can sometimes be dated by closely looking at the blue oxide backstamp. In 1974 a small notch was cut in the outer circle, and another each following year. Count the notches, if you can see them, and add them to 1974.

Another piece:


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